From Belvoir Castle to Bosworth Battlefield, Bradgate Park to Foxton Locks, from the world’s leading sports university at Loughborough to the world famous pork pies of Melton Mowbray and Stilton Cheese, the county of Leicestershire bridges north to south with a mix of sweeping countryside, beautiful villages, thriving market towns and a diverse, robust economy.
Leicestershire has a population of roughly 630,000 people. It borders with Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Staffordshire, Warwickshire, Northamptonshire, and Rutland. It is estimated that by 2026, the county’s population will exceed 700,000. It is thought that the trend in the county’s age profile getting generally older will continue. Roughly 10% of the county’s population is non-white.
Together, the city of Leicester and the county of Leicestershire has a combined population of 1 million. The City of Leicester, which is a different local authority, is at the county’s centre and the inter-dependency between city and county is obvious, with city and county linked by shops, jobs, transport, hospitals, sport, leisure and culture.
Leicestershire is broken into 7 different administrative districts and comprises a mixture of towns large and small, villages and rural communities, each with their own rich heritage and future needs.
Leicestershire has 18 distinctive areas of beauty including the Wolds, Charnwood Forest, High Leicestershire, and the Soar Valley. 80% of the county’s land is used for agriculture, with only 4% of the county with woodland cover. Though this figure is about to change with the further development of the National Forest.
55% of the county’s population live in rural parishes – of the county’s 300 settlements that are under 10,000, almost half are villages with a population of less than 250. The majority of these small villages are located in the east of the County in the districts of Melton and Harborough.
Leicestershire has several market towns – that is places with a population of between 10-25,000 – including Asbhy-de-la-Zouch, Broughton Astley, Earl Shilton, Hinckley, Lutterworth, Market Harborough, and Melton Mowbray. By and large, these larger settlements tend to be in county’s north and west. Leicestershire’s largest town is Loughborough with a population of 57,600.
For more information on who populates the county, how the county’s land is used and how our economy is shaped, This is Leicestershire 2008 and the updated This is Leicestershire 2010, contains detailed analysis of the above and more. This information is continually updated by the Research Team at County Hall and published at Leicestershire Research and Statistics Online